AT&T is cutting more than 3,400 jobs across technicians and clerical workers in addition to axing 1,300 retail jobs, the carrier told Communications Workers of America Tuesday. The layoffs will affect jobs across the nation, with AT&T closing down more than 250 AT&T Mobility and Cricket Wireless stores. 

“If we are in a war to keep our economy going during this [COVID-19] crisis, why is AT&T dismissing the troops?” said Chris Shelton, CWA president. “AT&T could help lead the country toward recovery by partnering with its workforce to build next generation networks. Instead the company is adding to the pain of the recession already under way.”

AT&T said employees who are being cut are being offered severance pay and health insurance coverage for up to six months. There’s also voluntary severance of up to $100,000 for wireline technicians. Retail employees will be offered another position at the company, most of which will be work-from-home jobs.

CWA said it suspects the work is being pushed onto “low-paid contractors who do not have the same training, experience, and commitment as CWA members,” according to Joe Snyder, President of CWA Local 4302 in Akron, Ohio, and an AT&T technician.

“These actions align with our focus on growth areas along with lower customer demand for some legacy products and the economic impact and changed customer behaviors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” AT&T said in an emailed statement. “There will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees.” 

. As a result, there will be targeted, but sizable reductions in our workforce across executives, managers and union-represented employees, consistent with our previously announced transformation initiative. Additionally, we’ll be eliminating more non-payroll workers — the vast majority of which are outside the United States – than we are managers or union-represented employees. Reducing our workforce is a difficult decision that we don’t take lightly. For employees who are leaving as part of these changes, we’re offering severance pay and company-provided healthcare coverage for up to 6 months for eligible employees.” 

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